Entertainment Television

TV CHEAT SHEET: Outlander powered by women

TV maven Denette Wilford looooves female-focused Outlander and bets you will too! W

TV maven Denette Wilford looooves female-focused Outlander and bets you will too! W

DENETTE WILFORD/ 24 HOURS

**WARNING: Some content may contain spoilers**

 Love It

Outlander

If ever there was a show that was aimed solely at women, it’s this. Sure, there’s loads of blood and violence, there’s the time-travel sci-fi aspect, not to mention all the historical fiction, but the romance and drama far outweighs all the action. But that’s why you can’t help but fall for the series based on Diana Galbaldon’s books. And while some time has passed over the first two seasons, the premise remains generally the same: Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is torn between a rock — Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies), her husband in the ’40s; and a hard place — Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan), the warrior who becomes her husband in 1743 Scotland. Last we left Claire and Jamie, he sent her back to the future to give birth to their daughter, because historically, he was set to die in the Battle of Culloden. But we were also treated to a 20-year flash-forward when Claire learned Jamie survived. So how will they find their way back to one another? Well, that’s the setup for Season 3, as viewers see how Jamie lived and what Claire and Frank are up to in Boston. But Outlander is truly at its best when the storytelling takes place in Scotland. There’s something about the scenery and energy and accents, or maybe it’s because it puts Jamie front and centre. Whatever the case, none of its greatness can beat the anticipation of seeing Claire and Jamie reunite. Because once they find their way back to one another and are together, nothing else matters.

Premieres: Sunday, September 10 on W Network

Skip It

The Orville

If you’re a fan of Seth MacFarlane’s comedy, just walk away. And if you’re a fan of sci-fi, you’re going to wonder why your face matches your phaser set to stun because how this got made is beyond me. Actually, scratch that. It was made because Seth MacFarlane has made Fox a lot of money over the years. But while there are the odd Family Guy-ish punchlines sprinkled throughout, the rest of it is just a poor imitation of a cliché-packed parody that will insult everyone from hardcore Trekkies to anyone with eyes. Spaceballs, this ain’t. But, hey, the effects are good. MacFarlane stars as Ed Mercer, the first-time captain of his own ship. His crew includes Ed’s right-hand BFF Gordon (Scott Grimes), chief medical officer Dr. Claire Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald), security officer Alara (Halston Sage), “legendarily racist” robot Isaac (Mark Jackson) and Ed’s ex-wife Kelly (Adrianne Palicki), who despite cheating on Ed a year prior, wants another shot with him and finds a way to get assigned to his ship. Don’t be surprised if you don’t crack a smile. As each scene comes and goes, you’ll be left wondering if you blinked and missed something. You didn’t. MacFarlane may be known for bringing the funny but this hour-long hell is the complete opposite of that. That’s right, AN HOUR. MacFarlane needs to stick to comedy, both in acting and writing capacities, and leave the drama — or whatever this is — to anyone else. Abandon ship.

Premieres: Sunday, September 10 on City/Fox

Live It

Fear the Walking Dead

Travis’ death in the Season 3 premiere proved the show isn’t afraid to kill off its major characters if it moves the story along. A brilliant decision because if Travis was around, the outcome on the ranch would’ve been a lot different. But the political themes and the border setting moves the series in a direction that has only helped FTWD distance itself from The Walking Dead. In the first half of Season 3, the characters got dark, doing what they had to do. And they’re only going to get darker. FTWD’s mid-season premiere looks and feels different tonally, and while the Clark family’s ultimate goal of surviving and staying together remains the same, they’re doing their own things. And that’s going to cause some tension. The Clarks no longer seem heroic — which is probably fine by them because they didn’t ask for this life anyway.

Premieres: Sunday, Sept. 10 on AMC

Reality Bites

The Bachelor

ABC revealed on Thursday on GMA who the star of the 22nd season was going to be and, while Peter Kraus (the runner-up from Rachel’s Bachelorette) and Luke Pell (from JoJo’s season) were the favourites, the network shocked everyone by announcing that Arie Luyendyk Jr., the runner-up on Emily Maynard’s season back in 2012, will be the 2018 Bachelor. ***crickets***

Perfect Casting

Genius

The National Geographic series has found its Pablo Picasso. Antonio Banderas has signed on to play the Spanish painter in the upcoming second season, which will chronicle Picasso’s life and work. No word on who will play the younger Picasso, as Season 2 — which is expected to return sometime in 2018 — will follow in the footsteps of the first, going back and forth between an older and younger Albert Einstein (played by Geoffrey Rush and Johnny Flynn, respectively). “Antonio was the natural choice,” executive producer Ron Howard said in a statement. “He, like Picasso, has a no-holds barred approach to life that will add to the geniuneness that we’re looking for. He has such tremendous range as an actor, who I know will bring this brilliant and unconventional artist to life.” Banderas added, “The life story of Pablo Picasso has long since fascinated me and I have so much respect for this man, who also comes from my birthplace Málaga. I am thrilled to work with National Geographic, [executive producers] Brian [Grazer], Ron, Ken [Biller], and the rest of the Genius team to tell an authentic story of one of the most innovative painters in the world.” Brilliant casting. Dare I say, genius?

Quote of the Week

Big Brother

“The general feeling I have about this season is that it’s not Big Brother, it’s Big Paul. Paul is running the house. Paul is the puppet master and everyone inside the house is happy to be led by him, and that to me is amazing that he’s got them all fooled. He’s like the Big Bad Wolf and at the end he’s going to take off the cloak and take that cheque away from you.”

— Julie Chen on how CBS made it easy for production’s favourite to change the game like never before, during a Facebook Live chat

What Jules said. If Paul doesn’t win, this season will have been a colossal waste. #Friendship